Offset smoker questions...

Hello agian,
lynnae here, I'm still around You all are great for advice so I thought you could help me with this one. I was just given(meaning: for FREE!!) a slightly used New Brunfels offset smoker grill. The guy who gave it to me had a hard time using it....he had problems with controlling the heat...too hot on one side too cold on the other.....he really just wanted a grill that he could throw some steaks on that he didn't have to pay attention to. I think he got it for a gift and really didn't want to learn how to use it. He's a wimp!!
I, on the other hand, am a HUGE BBQ fan and have been at it for a short while. I got me a Cookshack smokette 2 years ago and it has given me great results with dam near everything. My biggest adjusment was not using too much wood...it really doen't take much to create a great flavor. I love that machine!!! I will use it untill there is no more meat left.

Anyway I spent most of the morning cleaning the NB up (scoured the rust off, cleaned the moldy grills, spot painted with some bbq grill enamel, some wd40 for the hinges etc). Now, it's practically brand new again and I need to season it and then it's off to the races.....except I've really no experience with a wood heated smoker. The smokette is awesome and really easy to use but I want to challenge myself to a different smoking method. Before I bought the smokette I used one of those cheapy Brinkman upright cylindrical charcoal fueled water smokers....good results and I had it for some time, but I did remember it a challenge keeping the charcoal going to provide heat and at the same time adding the damp wood chips. It's poor design didn't help it retain the heat so it would get cold quickly. I would love some advice on my new (free!!!) toy. I'm up for smoking all different types of meat and seafood. Sometimes I wish my smokette was just a little bigger...too expensive for me though..I'm just a hobby bbq'r..I live in Portland and we get the best salmon and halibut here and it would be cool to smoke one whole..or maybe not now that I think of it....;-)

Sorry for the blabbing on....

Questions:
-Any web sites that would help me...? ( the NB site is now Charbroil and it sucks, it has NO info on how to) I know there are about 1000 sites out there but having some knowledge of where to start would be great. I really don't need recipes, I've got lots and so many more on this site, just really need a 'how to' primer.
-How would you suggest I season it properly?
-What are the do's and don'ts?
-How do you keep a fire going? This grill is horizontal with a heavy duty fire box with a ash clean out door thing and air adjustment vent and a barrel cooking area with a small chiminy that has a swivel closure on top.
-Anything else?? I cannot think of anything yet...

thanks for all your help and great reading!! You guys rock!
lynnae
Wink
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